Featured Member of the Week: Paul Middleton

Katie Allred

Featured Member of the Week: Paul Middleton

Katie Allred

What’s your name?

Paul Middleton

Where do you serve, what is your title, and how long have you served there?

Sun Valley Community Church, Communications and Marketing Director, 2 months.

How would you describe your job to someone who doesn’t go to church?

I handle the brand strategy, creative design, and internal and external communication strategies for the church.

What were some of the things that you experienced that shaped the way you approach your work?

Too many to count. I was a former Creative Arts Director and seeing all the areas of the creative process for weekly experiences opened my eyes to things bigger than just “my area” of ministry. Working alongside ministry leaders and pastors, small group leaders, individuals and teams alike force you to realize there is so much more going on than what you are just doing.

What’s the one thing you wish people knew about your job?

This position is not a position of power but of purpose. We don’t “own” or “control” the message/strategy because of narcissism or pride. We believe in loving and serving God and others in every way we communicate and invite people into the vision and mission of the church and that takes strategy and planning.

What is the one tool for your job that you can’t live without, and why?

My laptop and a good notepad. Sounds silly I know, but there are so many amazing tools on out there but the purpose I have found and loved about it is that my job, naturally, needs to be mobile. I need to get out from behind my desk and be with people. Not just volunteers or people who attend but also our church staff. And through face to face interaction and actively listening, I can see what the “boots on the ground” are actually facing and make sure I’m not just creating strategies from a vacuum but allow them to be built through all of our team working together, creating ownership and buy-in.

What is the biggest mistake that you see churches making when it comes to communications and marketing?

They don’t know their audience. The classic fault of making the communication about themselves and the details not about the person they are actually targeting. And to truly know who you are targeting, you have to know who you’re targeting. Their fears, faults, desires and how they perceive the world around them. Encountering the world through their eyes helps to shatter our small perceived realities and biases.

Who is someone that you look up to in the church communications world?

Phil Bowdle – Rethink Communications was a crucial guide to my practical formation in Church Communications.

One of the things we love about what Paul said in this interview is that we, as communicators, must understand that we are in a position of purpose and not power. We should always serve our purpose in line with the church’s vision and mission. Thank you, Paul, for reminding us of this. Keep up the good work!

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